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HS2 sparks new infrastructure development plan for Solihull

HS2 sparks new infrastructure development plan for Solihull

A major upgrade of transport and economic infrastructure is being planned around the site of the upcoming HS2 station in Solihull. 

The Urban Growth Company has published an updated version of its framework plan for the 'urban quarter', close to the boundary with Birmingham, where the new station will be built next to the existing elements of the cluster, these being the Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Jaguar Land Rover and Birmingham Business Park.

Originally drawn up in March and now revised, the plan could involve as much as £1.6 billion of investment in the area, and will play a key role in shaping Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council's 15-year local plan. 

The new station will be located on the south-western edge of the cluster at Arden Cross, currently a triangular green field site between the A452 and the M42, with the NEC on the other side of the motorway.
However, HS2 is not the only transport construction development envisaged in the plan, which has identified increased connectivity as a means of driving the economic development of the cluster.

Among the other elements will be an upgrade to the existing NEC station, which not only links the zone with Birmingham City centre, but also other local destinations in the Solihull, Birmingham and Black Country areas.

Indeed, the area may see significant further transport links as a result of the expansion of the Midlands Metro tram system. Although the next building phases for that system will be westwards across the Black Country to Dudley and through central Birmingham out to Edgbaston, the system is also set to be extended eastwards to join up with the central Birmingham HS2 hub at Curzon Street and then eventually across the east of the city as far as the airport. 

The proximity of the Solihull HS2 station may also prompt a new link with Coventry.

Last month, researchers at Warwick University demonstrated a prototype of the system to the city council. Not only could it provide a new network for Coventry, but councillors hope it might potentially be extended westwards to link with the new HS2 stop.

Image: From a press release


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